There was an old magnolia tree in the walled-corner
Of the garden overlooked by our school in Porto.
Every spring we marvelled at the white splendour of its flowering,
Its blushing blooms,
Its ethereal beauty.
A vestigial planting from another age,
It was destined for the municipal saws.
When it was gone I was bitter-sad;
Well done, I thought, you got that right,
Zero for ambient aesthetics and
Ten for callous insensitivity.
The cactus flowers on my terrace in spring,
Almonds blossom in the upper Douro,
But the paint explodes vermilion
Splashing onto my page
Slanting across my mind.
Every night I drain the blood from
My hollowed heart
But in the morning
It’s full again.